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loitering

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I know I’m just being dim about this, but I’ve never been able to understand the "no loitering" stuff w/r/t film / tv crews. Is there really a law? Or is this the usual NYPD bullshit, where they threaten under just about any circumstances, to "hold you for 24 hours without charge. We can do that, asshole."

What a great situationist law it would be to render it legal to loiter wherever you like during filmings of any sort. Make it illegal for crews to intimidate pedestrians etc. I guarantee the result would be better movies / tv shows. In fact, this might be my first quasi-answer to the question that I posed here.

Written by adswithoutproducts

July 3, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Posted in teevee

11 Responses

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  1. Oh, excitement, a puzzle! I’m trying to figure out from your categories what it is you study. The problem is, don’t _all_ modernists study those categories? And wear little black eyeglasses? Seriously, I can match these to about all the seminars (I won’t link, but I see them and the enrolled participants online).

    If I went to the seminar, could I go as a dirty old man in a raincoat? Or should I bring a map and a distribution network?

    Sisyphus

    July 5, 2007 at 1:05 am

  2. ‘Or is this the usual NYPD bullshit, where they threaten under just about any circumstances, to “hold you for 24 hours without charge’

    I suppose I’ve heard of this, but never have seen it. The reasons are pretty obvious and not at all mysterious, aren’t they, when there are film crews in NYC as opposed to the far larger number in Los Angeles, where The Law is right-wingier but the Loitering Defendu is much looser and not emphasized.

    Are you loitering on your own blog, Mr. CR? At least you can make the loitering legal since you may determine all legalities of where you blog-loiter.

    ‘I guarantee the result would be better movies / tv shows.’

    That’s pretty good. Auden’s Colossal Dad speaks!

    patrick j. mullins

    July 5, 2007 at 1:51 pm

  3. Actually, Patrick, it happened to me once when I was a wee lad and footloose and fancy free in NYC. Sitting in Washington Square Park with some friends, a cruiser rolled up out of nowhere. Voice out of the cruiser: “So wad part of Jersey you guys from?” Etc etc etc. We were told to leave the park, and that if we didn’t, “we can lock you up for 24 hours without charge. How you gonna ‘splain that to yr parents?” And so we left.

    This for sitting on a park bench. Pre-Rudy.

    Why is it obvious, except in the sense that we all have a patriotic duty to self-sacrifice in service of the production of the lame ass shit that hollywood and the networks put out, that I should have to do what a tv production crew tells me to do on public ground? You live in Brooklyn, right? I can imagine it’s only gotten worse since I left. (The day before I moved out my entire block was “off limits” to pedestrians because they were filming a fucking Nike commerical on the stoop opposite my house. “Sorry, either leave now and stay gone or you’re staying in your house for the rest of the day.” Nice! That seems fair!

    This stuff is emblematic of just about all the dysfunction there is, chez nous. Temporarily enclosing public space for the manufacture of a commodity for private sale? Why should that be legal? If the networks and studios were publically owned, well, then I might feel very differently about it. But alas, they’re most definitely not.

    You’re going to have to unpack the Colossal Dad bit for me. “Age of Anxiety,” yes. But how so?

    Sisyphus:

    It can be figured out from this blog without even diving into posts etc. Trust me. One last hint: you won’t have heard of my name before. I.e. I’m not famous or even semi-famous in the field. New guy on the job.

    CR

    July 5, 2007 at 2:23 pm

  4. CR–I’d been lighthearted about the whole thing, so you needn’t take umbrage. I thought the post was funny, but I guess the one serious point (or the one I find serious) is that maybe if it’s not publicly funded they haven’t any right, etc., to turn out cheap Hollywood product, etc., but I just haven’t had the time to get upset about that: When the City dug up my street beginning in spring, 2002 (I’m in the West Village, Manhattan, not Brooklyn, although I go out there frequently enough), and didn’t finish it till December, 2006, causing unbelievable noise and stirring up mice so that I had a serious problem at all times, this was so far worse than a temporary movie set interrupting my movements during a day or a few days that I never have thought about the source of public or private commodity, given that the misery of the street hell was as far as I could get.

    No, I don’t doubt that the police do stop people. I don’t know why I’ve never seen it except when people have been fighting, although in 1984, in Los Angeles, I was stopped for walking on a ‘Don’t Walk’ blinking sign, and made to show I.D., and I was even dressed up.

    Okay, here is what is obvious, at least between the L.A. film crews’ way of handling the same kind of situation–merely the layout of the cities being the exact opposite. The ones I’ve seen in Manhattan have always been very small, and although I’ve walked by many, I’ve never really seen any heavy oppression going on, just noted how ratty film crew people look in what is supposed to be a glamorous profession. In 2002, in Los Angeles, I was walking back from Laurel Canyon along Sunset and there were about 12 blocks blocked off from traffic while they were filming some definitely cheap Hollywood product ‘hollywood homicide’ w/Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. They got on my nerves more for not deciding whether they were going to let me keep walking on Sunset or whether they wanted me to get off of it (they told me I had to stay on it and get off within 5 minutes, but not aggressively). I needed to get off it, as I was going somewhere else. So I guessed they were telling me I couldn’t loiter while making me loiter.

    Only point–they do a lot more filming right in the city there, but there’s room for it, so that the ‘no loitering’ is surely to prevent things from getting even more chaotic, isn’t it? So that the main point would just have to be that they shouldn’t be there at all. Once there, some claustrophobic piece of the Garment District (where I think I saw a crew for ‘Law and Order’ once)is a dicier matter than 12 long blocks of laid-back Los Angeles. I hate that seeing that car chase being filmed on Sunset made me rent the video a year later, because I wanted to see if I could find that part–and it wasn’t there. The rental place went so far as to tell me that ‘you don’t want this, Patrick’, so I knew if he didn’t want my money, it must be so horrible he couldn’t control himself.

    ‘Colossal Dad’ is indeed based on ‘the Age of Anxiety’, that wonderful poem about the barpeople on 3rd Avenue getting drunk and dreaming of the Colossal Dad. I suppose it’s open to interpretation, but a Colossal Dad pronouncement would not necessarily come ‘with warranty’ as yours did, but would claim to nevertheless. I make Colossal Dad pronouncements myself with too much frequency, but am cutting down…

    patrick j. mullins

    July 5, 2007 at 3:04 pm

  5. It’s harder than you think — do you know _everybody_ on that site lists the same theorists as you on their teaching pages? (maybe you’re all of them … or none of them, just a phantasmagoria … that would be cool.)

    Am I making this too complex?

    Sisyphus

    July 5, 2007 at 4:08 pm

  6. Oh wait, I think you know somebody I went to school with. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to corner the unsuspecting at dept. parties, a glass of wine in each hand, and talk your ear off about Kurasowa. Or French cheese. Other than that he’s pretty harmless, though.

    Sisyphus

    July 5, 2007 at 4:14 pm

  7. Sisyphus,

    Yes, I do, I think. And your description is totally friggin apt. Very funny. But please, please, please keep all of this to yourself. Blog disappears when folks know about it. Loose lips sink ships…

    Nicely done, figuring it out… But please do obey the universal code of pseudonymity!

    Patrick,

    Right, but you also see the distinction between tearing up your street (presumably for the longterm good of the street and certainly not for private profit) and, say, fencing off the dock / park at the end of Fulton Street in DUMBO for 2 months so they can film a single scene of, what was it,
    Two Weeks Notice. This happened right before I left as well.

    CR

    July 5, 2007 at 4:30 pm

  8. CR, I’m all about the anonymity, as someone who has a blog and no job yet should be. Maybe we can meet up on the Big Boat.

    I’m really more inclined toward going in my overcoat, or maybe nothing at all but mascara. But hey, I’m sure we’ll run across each other. And I know lots of people who have yet to sign up for anything.

    Sisyphus

    July 5, 2007 at 5:28 pm

  9. ‘Right, but you also see the distinction between tearing up your street (presumably for the longterm good of the street and certainly not for private profit) and’

    Yes, of course, because your point was about the private profit; but no, because this was the City taking long periods off from the work (often weeks at a time) and my own hearing truly monstrous bosses haranguing their workers–after all, with the City, payoffs abound, so in this case, I am sure there was a lot of private profit. But since not in the ordinary ‘legitimate’ private-profit sense, I took the emphasis off what your point is–but it gets into a lot of grey areas. There had been an earlier (I think early 90s) digging up of 6th Avenue in which you knew that they were doing it for, as you say, the good of the street, because they were doing it all the way up 6th Avenue and replacing old infrastructure. We didn’t like it, but it didn’t affect us the same way, even though that time it only lasted maybe 2 years–but since they had to get traffic through, they basically could not fudge on schedules. Here, since they probably had all sorts of corrupt deals interwoven and would never give us accurate ideas of what their schedule was, we were always in bad temper even though we never predicted it would last 4 1/2 years. Walking near the construction area was also always very dangerous–and even if they were doing what was supposed to be urgent work in repairing and/or reinstalling new air vents for the subway, it obviously was not that urgent if they took so many vacations from it, and in the subways themselves, which I took often right on that line, you never saw any kind of urgent situation. But your point is fine–you’re talking about another thing that’s illegitimate.

    Also, I don’t know if you are interested in such things, but Auden’s poem inspired Leonard Bernstein’s 2nd Symphony, which is an amazing work, almost a piano concerto–and Bernstein wrote brilliant notes for how he used the poem. I knew that for years before ever reading the poem.

    patrick j. mullins

    July 5, 2007 at 6:08 pm

  10. Sisyphus,

    Sounds like a plan – see you on the boat! And thanks for being careful with what you sleuthed out today.

    Patrick,

    I’ll look into the Bernstein bit. Sounds really interesting…

    CR

    July 6, 2007 at 1:21 am

  11. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/09/arts/09slow.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

    Did you see this? This is apparently still going on, and only 3 blocks away, but they can call it ‘affected indifference’, it’s too hot for something like this that seems pretty silly anyway. It’s only interesting as an idea. So… I guess they get a permit, and passersby are used, and there is the usual array of dumb wisecracks. I’ve seen Karen Finley do Martha Stewart (in ‘George and Martha’, where the two had a fictitious hot-sheet motel affair), and that’s the only good performance artist I’ve ever seen–the woman is amazing but totally weird. I guess this may be an example of the pedestrians being allowed to artificially loiter, I don’t know.

    patrick j. mullins

    July 8, 2007 at 7:27 pm


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